Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF) was upgraded by investment analysts at Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Friday.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Vertical Research upgraded Dean Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Dean Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 10th. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Dean Foods from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $21.31 to $22.00 in a report on Thursday, January 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Dean Foods from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $22.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on Dean Foods in a report on Thursday, December 1st. They issued a “sector weight” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.29.

Analyst Recommendations for Dean Foods (NYSE:DF)

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) opened at 19.40 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.79 and a beta of 0.28. Dean Foods has a one year low of $15.69 and a one year high of $22.31. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $19.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $18.83.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 16th. The company reported $0.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.03. The company earned $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.01 billion. Dean Foods had a net margin of 1.37% and a return on equity of 24.87%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.36 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Dean Foods will post $1.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.09 per share. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 16th. Dean Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 31.30%.

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In other Dean Foods news, Director J Wayne Mailloux sold 3,033 shares of Dean Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.50, for a total transaction of $56,110.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 105,073 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,943,850.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,548 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 145 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 17.0% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 7,616 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 1,104 shares during the period. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd increased its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 158.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 7,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 4,737 shares during the period. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Dean Foods during the fourth quarter worth about $200,000. Finally, Elkfork Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Dean Foods during the fourth quarter worth about $201,000.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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